For an exclusive interview, Jennifer Hudson spoke with Real Simple about managing her new role as a talk-show host and being a mother of a teenage son. When addressing being a mom to a young man, she revealed that being a boy mom, especially to Black boys, comes with many conscious conversations.

Hudson’s son, David Daniel Otunga Jr., attends a predominantly white school and is proud to wear his natural hair.

“My son goes to a predominantly white school, and he has giant hair, a whole Afro. And he loves to walk in there with the big old ‘fro and the pick in his hair. And I’m like, ‘Do you realize the statement you’re making? Know that just wearing your hair like that is a statement alone,'” she told Real Simple.

“He’s very rooted in who he is and okay with that,” she continued. “I didn’t grow up like that. It’s a completely different time. And being a mom of a Black son, there are certain things you have to make him conscious of and aware of. And who he is within the world. And there’s so many layers he has to learn, but now he’s at an age where he can fully understand it. And he’s so evolved beyond what I could ever imagine.”

When asked how she balances the role of motherhood and various roles, she said every year is just like a ‘new school year.’ Hudson explained that she and her son both have intense schedules, which allows her to find new ways to maneuver through parenting her son.

“David and I joke that we’re both starting a new school year! My son has a busy schedule, and I love to be there for him, so I’m learning how to juggle this newness,” she said. “It used to be I’d hold your hand and take you to the park. Now it’s like, how do I mother you? Figuring that out. And how do we exist in this new space?”

As Hudson prepares for the new school year, the second season of her talk show, and her 42nd birthday, she says she only wants a week off to relax.

“One of my birthday wishes, when I turned 40, was to have a one week off. I’m still waiting for that, and I’m about to be 42,” the EGOT winner said.